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Hume's PoliticsCoordination and Crisis in the History of England$
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Andrew Sabl

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134208

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134208.001.0001

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Coordinating Interests

Coordinating Interests

The Liberalism of Enlargement

(p.43) Chapter 2 Coordinating Interests
Hume's Politics

Andrew Sabl

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines a neglected precondition for coordination problems' existing in the first place: the actors involved must share a common interest in coordinating their actions that outweighs whatever interest they have in not coordinating them. This condition is often taken for granted but is in the real world not trivial. Historically, the process involved great bloodshed, multiple reversals, and lots of politics: a mix of strategy, seduction, rhetoric, and above all a “great mixture of accident, which commonly concurs with a small ingredient of wisdom and foresight, in erecting the complicated fabric of the most perfect government.” The chapter also explores how Hume's approach to coordination avowedly requires seeking out innovative sources of common interest that might not at first appear.

Keywords:   coordination, common interests, politics, perfect government, David Hume

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